Try to keep in mind that the Elementary OS folks are trying something different from the rest, placing workflow logic and accessibility first. As it is now and will be for I while (I’m guessing) will likely be a work in progress. They have in thier plans, from interviews I’ve listened to, the removal of the Ubuntu software center and will develop thier own solution to that issue.
The Applications Menu, Window decor, icons, etc…:
Could be set up to look a little differently with an icon view and a more traditional looking menu type view. And it can also be modified further using elementary-tweaks (Not on the Beta though, youll need a script to fix most of it, due to changes being made to the interface with this iteration).
I think there was enough discussion on that already.
What I found interesting is that with Elementary OS because it got me up and running fast, I could actually get work done with it and not have to wrestle it to be able to use it. I could naturally feel how they were thinking with thier interface. AND its Ubuntu Based, so if I wanted some extra functionality, I could get it easily. For us Linux geeks, I think we underestimate how important that is for the casual, wanting to get out from under the OSX, and Windoze, worlds clutches.
Personally, I think they are doing the right thing with their distro. Which is, for the most part, none of the things that the other distros think will work for massive adoptation. Put user experience first, take your time with it and go for quality. Granted they aren’t 100% there yet, but its a really great start.
As far as the “MAC like” look thing… If were going to hold that against Elementary, please ensure you hold the “Gnome3 like” look of Apples newest revision of thier OS. Which would also, by relation, mean they (Apple) are imitating Elementary OS as they were using Gtk Gnome 3 based themes before Apple.
I’m just sayin…